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Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Few More Old Postcards

Today I'm feeling a bit nostagic so I'll share a few more of my old postcards with you. I wish the cards could talk and tell me who they belonged to and how they got here. Were they brought here by my great-grandparents as reminders of their homeland? Or did other family members send them in packages as reminders? These were not sent in the mail as postcards....there is no writing on them. However they came to be here I'm glad they ended up with me. I love looking at them and dreaming about what my family's life was like back then. I can be such a romantic at times.

The first one just says "The Village Mere, Flambro"....



I'm not sure what a village mere refers to....is it the man or the buildings or the water or the pump?? Maybe someone will be able to tell me. The houses are interesting....no front gardens, no trees, just the street and the water.

Next we have "Cliff Climbing, Flamborough"....



Now that looks dangerous!! There are several people up top, one even looks as if it could be a woman....I think I see long skirts but it is hard to tell. Is this some kind of recreational climbing??.... I hope they didn't throw that poor guy over the edge to dangle above the sea for any other reason!! In today's world with all the modern climbing equipment this rock wall might not seem too daunting but I'm sure back then they didn't have much but a rope and physical strength. You gotta be determined to climb that rock!

The last one says "A Good Days Work with the Egg Gatherers, Flamborough"....



This is an interesting bunch! And that's a lot of eggs....and they look pretty big, too. What kind of eggs are they? And where did they gather them from? I see some coils of rope so I'm wondering if these guys go over the edge of the cliff to gather some kind of wild bird eggs?!

The little burro or mule or whatever it is sure has its work cut out for it with those huge baskets. Was this a way to make money? Did these guys sell the eggs? I guess that would probably be the main reason to gather them....at least that many of them.

Well, I just answered my own questions!! I decided to take a chance and google egg gatherers.... here is some information about them. Now that I know the story behind this postcard, I wonder if anyone in my family ever did this!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hair Pulling and a Harley Update



This is how I feel right now!! And I don't have long enough hair to pull! I'm not sure how many other people are having the same problems so I thought I would post this to see. I'm not complaining....just trying to understand the problem and give others some insight.

I've always had some problems with blogger but lately they seem to be different and worse than usual. Maybe it's because of the new and improved beta blogger. I'm still waiting to see if I want to change over to that or just move to another blog service.

My problem is with comments again. No, not the ones left for me! I love all those. Earlier I mentioned having problems leaving comments on other blogs and got a couple of good suggestions. Now I'm having different problems leaving comments.

Before, I wasn't able to get the comments window to open but with your suggestions I have tried right clicking and that usually works.

Now I've having problems with the word verification. On one blog I had to do it four or five times, being especially careful each time to type in exactly what was shown, and each time it would just give me another group of letters.

Other times I type my comment and verification, click the publish button and get "page cannot be found."

Several people have written on their blogs about the lack of comments and I'm wondering if these problems are happening to other people and maybe that's why there are no comments being left at times.

My other problem is with bloglines. I use them to keep track of the blogs I read regularly. I noticed that some blogs didn't appear to be updated....and one in particular I know updates almost every day.... so I clicked on it anyway and sure enough there were several posts that I had missed because bloglines had indicated nothing new.

I'm just curious if anyone else is experiencing these same problems. I guess if you're having problems leaving a comment, you might not be able to leave one here! If you know I'm a regular visitor to your blog but I haven't been leaving comments it may be that I'm trying but running into these problems.

***************************

Now on to a Harley update. He has finished his medications (thank goodness!!) and seems to be doing just fine. About the only thing we have noticed is that Harley is much more subdued, and the deep rumbly purr that goes with his name has not been heard since he got sick. We have not let him back outside and are trying to turn him into an indoor cat like LuLu. The vet agrees and said that if we could keep Harley inside for a few weeks that he would get used to it. (fingers crossed)

So far Harley has been inside since August 8th when he got sick. HB and I are hopeful that it will work....although I'm not so sure LuLu feels the same!!

Here's a photo I managed to get yesterday....Harley is either asleep or running around so it makes it a bit difficult to snap photos of him.



I do wish he could learn to relax!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Grass in the Desert!!

Monday morning when I left to run some errands I noticed this plant that sits at the end of our driveway, is getting ready for fall. I have no idea what the name of this plant is but I love it! When we first moved here it was kind of sitting in the middle of a former garden area in the backyard, looking rather forlorn. We had a bare spot at the end of the driveway where grass just wouldn't grow so HB transplanted the forlorn plant to the bare spot. Well, that must have made the plant happy because it has "exploded" since then and now is almost too big for the space! Our gardener cuts it back every year and I think that just makes it grow even more.



Here is a little closer view of it. That dark colored tree behind it is a beautiful deep burgundy color but it's my nightmare tree! I wrote about it quite awhile back....it has beautiful pink blossoms in the spring but then during the summer it has these cherry-size non-edible fruits that fall all over the yard and sidewalk and stain things purple. Now knowing me you would think I'd like anything purple but here is where I draw the line! I don't know what kind of tree it is but I would never knowingly ever have another one! Too much mess.



This photo is a little closer look at the tassel-y plant. People who walk by here must like the plant, too, because they always break off stems! Does anyone know the name for it?? I'm so bad about plant names! Don't you just love the pale wheat color of the tassels against the deep blue of the sky?



Another reason I thought about my front yard was something I saw on TV the other night. I believe it was somewhere in Kansas that a man decided his front yard was not being used for much so he planted veggies! He had an entire little veggie garden in the front yard and his neighbors weren't all that happy about it. Personally I thought it was a great idea. Why not grow veggies and actually make good use of the space? Think how much you could save on groceries if we all grew a yard full of veggies.

I'm sure the city where we live would have a hissy fit if I did that! There is a really asinine rule here that all yards must be mostly grass!! Now remember where we live! In the high desert!! DESERT!! Hello!! And they want grass in all the front yards! But on the same hand they want everyone to conserve water! Now tell me how that makes any sense!! In order to keep grass alive we have to water the yard twice a day. Think about how much water is used because of this silly rule. If we live in the desert why do we have to pretend we live in some lush tropical place?

Ok, I'm off my soapbox! I'm off to plant veggies in the front yard!! No, not really. But I still like the idea. What do you think?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Modular Crochet

I never did get anything posted for Sunday. I apologize. No real reason except it was one of those lazy Sunday mornings that turned into a lazy Sunday afternoon and then a lazy Sunday evening!

So this morning I'm feeling a little behind. I think I'll share with you another one of my books from my collection.

This is another crochet book....sorry but that's my first love. I bought this book about 15 years ago. The name of it is Modular Crochet by Judith Copeland. It was published in 1978 by M. Evans and Company.



Recently I thought I had lost this book and decided to just go online and get myself another copy. Luckily I found my original copy of this book because when I checked this is what I found!! Are they crazy??

The concept of this technique is to crochet vertical rows rather than the traditional horizontal rows. And the garments begin in the center and work out from each side. I've actually made one of these sweaters and I love the technique. Also the vertical lines of the rows are much better for me than anything going horizontal.

The first photo shows a cute little dress....maybe if I was 30 pounds smaller and 30+ years younger I might make this!!!




The versatility of this technique is what makes it so appealing to me. That and the simplicity of it. This photo shows a short little fuzzy sweater....again the 30/30+ thing applies!



If I lived in a colder climate I think I might like this long dress/robe thingie. If it was made with some of the lighter weight yarns it would be great because I think it could get very heavy to wear otherwise. But I like it.



Long skinny scarves were very popular last winter. Probably by this winter they will be passe'....but here are a few of them and a long tunic sweater. I don't care for the slits up the side but the rest is ok.



This last photo is near the back of the book and shows the versatility of one of the long dresses. They show how it can be pulled up with a belt and folded over to make a shorter version. Note the boots and the Farrah-ish hairstyle!



There are some very basic sweater guidelines in this book and I think just about any style of sweater or dress could be made using a few simple rules from this book. I don't usually wear crocheted items as they tend to be too bulky for me. I have enough bulk built right in!! Way back when I bought this book I made a sleeveless vest/tunic sweater that was inspired by this book. I liked how it turned out and always got compliments when I wore it.

I liked it so much that I took it apart!! I still have the balls of yarn that I made it from and keep thinking I'll make something else using them because I like the yarn so much. Another thing on my loooong "to do" list!

Well, that's about all for today. Now where did I put those crochet hooks? I think I feel a sweater coming on!! Oh, yeah! Like I could actually get something finished!! My success rate lately has been way down! Hopefully cooler temperatures are just around the corner (it has been hot again) and I'll be able to have a fire in the fireplace one of these days, curl up with some hot chocolate and my crochet and just hook away....so to speak!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Windmills and Pitchforks

My Grandpa Tom - not Thomas, just Tom - was born August 16, 1874 in Flamborough. Remember I told you about his dad (my great-grandpa James) bringing the family to America and finally settling in Kansas. Grandpa Tom married my grandma in 1908....her name was Tony (sometimes spelled Toni) and she was quite a bit younger than him. They had four children - two sons (one of which was my dad) and twin daughters. Tom and Tony had a ranch in the southwest part of Kansas and I'm sure it wasn't always an easy life.

This is a photo of the young family. Left to right: In front one of the twins, behind her is my Uncle James (the oldest) then Grandpa, Grandma, my dad almost hidden, and the other twin. How stark does that background look?!!



I can remember their house just as though I visited yesterday. I loved spending time in the basement which had several bedrooms and an old victrola with a crank and thick records to play on it. Grandma liked to read those old romance magazines and there were stacks of them down there, too. It was an entertainment mecca for a young girl like me.

Another thing I remember is the wonderful way the pantry smelled. It always smelled of spices. I wish I could duplicate those smells in my own home. There was one of those kitchen towels on the wall....the kind that has a linen towel on a roller. For some reason it fascinated me! And the kitchen cabinets had built in bins for flour and such. Grandma did a lot of cooking and baking!

The sound I remember inside was the mantel clock chiming. In the yard there was a big windmill and I can still hear it creaking in the wind. Both of those sounds are forever in my "sound" memory....a bit like a favorite tune that keeps rolling around in your head.

Visually I can see zinnias in the yard (Grandma's favorite flower), fruit trees and a garden for veggies. The barn was a little scary because it was dark with cobwebs in the corners.

This is the house on their small ranch. Later they moved to a bigger ranch and a bigger house but this is the house I visited most often when I was a child.



I loved arriving at the ranch, usually at night because we drove from Illinois straight through in one day, and Grandma and Grandpa would be standing on the back porch waiting for us. Grandma was a big woman and when she hugged me it was so soft and cushiony.

This is a photo of Tom and Tony in later years. They look so serious!! Actually Grandpa had a very dry sense of humor, loved whimsical jokes and witty sayings. I've been told I have a resemblance to Tony. What do you think??



I only saw them once a year for about two weeks and I didn't know them like I knew my mom's parents (who I saw every week) but they were still Grandma and Grandpa and I loved them. I don't have many tangible items from this side of the family. But I do have two items that mean a lot to me......



These are two candleholders made from pitchforks from Grandpa's ranch. After my grandparents were gone the ranch was sold but the family kept several tools and had them made into candleholders. I love these and every time I look at them I can smell Grandma's pantry and hear the windmill creaking.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ready to move!!!

Blogger is really getting cantankerous! I could barely even get the site to open this morning and forget about any photos! I'm not sure that new Blogger Beta is any better though. I'm actually thinking about changing over to typepad. Anyone know anything about it....good or bad??

So another photo-less day I guess. I'll just have to give you some interesting links to visit. The first one is here and be sure to click on the other pages to see even more goodies.

Another very interesting site if you like collage is here. She has many interesting pieces and I could spend a lot of time just looking at the photos.

And one more just for good measure! This site has collage, Photoshop, and quilting....something for everyone!

Late at night (when HB is snoozing upstairs) I like to cruise the web. There's something refreshing about the wind in my hair, the lights whizzing by,....oops! No that's when I used to cruise in my convertible. Different time, different cruisin'

So enjoy and hopefully I can get some photos uploaded sometime in the next century!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Potty Queen is Fashion Conscience!!

Since I am the Potty Queen I thought it only appropriate that I post this link!! I'm not saying what it is....you'll just have to take my word for it. It isn't anything nasty or crude or anything like that. I wouldn't do that to you....but it is interesting, kinda pretty (in an odd way) and definitely different!

I must give credit to Sharonb for this link. She had it first but I just couldn't resist!!

Brain Gridlock

Do you ever have those days when you just have so much to do that you almost become paralyzed and can't seem to begin?

Well, I'm having one of those months! I have projects just jammed up inside my head. It makes me think of traffic on the 101 or the 5 just about 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternooon....for anyone not familiar with CA traffic in and around L.A. that means gridlock!

The ideas just keep coming but there isn't any time to be creative! I'm still trying to unload a ton of stuff that I've kept for who knows how long. I feel as if I can't breathe with all this stuff around me. It is suffocating me.

I'm planning a yard sale but that is on hold for a bit, so now there are piles of stuff in all the nooks and crannies of the house. I've tried doing one room at a time but that hasn't worked out too good. When I get one room clean then I use it as a sorting place and then it gets messed up again!

Well, all of this will sort itself out soon....I hope! I'm usually a fairly organized person....don't laugh....I AM!! But for some reason I've gotten off-track recently and can't seem to find my way back.

Maybe I'll blame it all on the excessive heat we had earlier. Yeah, that sounds good. Or maybe I can blame it on the fact that Pluto is no longer a planet. My horoscope is all messed up now. Hey, give me a break! I'm reaching here! And Harley's episode didn't help matters either. By the way, he is almost his old self again....but I still haven't heard that deep, rumbly purr that goes with his name.

Whatever it is I want it to get finished with me and let me get back to "normal"....and have some time for myself.

I'm still working on the black and white afghan for Molly. During all the hot weather I didn't even pick up my crochet hook. So I'm way behind on that. I have several paintings that are mid-way and are just sitting there staring at me. I have several small items that I've been working on but they're just hiding out in the craft room.

All this is just driving me crazy!! Now I'm off to run errands for most of the morning and then by the time I get home I'll be tired and hot and won't want to do anything!

(I have been trying all afternoon to upload a photo but it just won't take it. So no "visual" today. I'll keep trying later.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Its "P" time....(now that sounds kinda weird!)

Time for some more Wordplay. I can't believe I'm already up to "P"....if you're new here you can learn all about Wordplay here. And if you would like to play along just jump right in. Now here we go.....

P - is for Purple....what else would I begin my list with??!!

P - is for petunia, the flowers and Petunia, the name. My grandma always had petunias growing by the side of her house but they weren't the bright colored ones of today. They were very pale and came back each year on their own. Petunia the name is what I used to call Molly when she was a baby!!

P - is for the term "pucker pucker"....my Aunt Dotti used this term and it always reminds me of her!

P - is for post office. I spent a lot of time there when I sold books online.

P - is for pout. As a kid I could pout with the best of them. My mom would tell me "watch out or you'll step on your lip!"

P - is for Peter (Jennings)....I miss him. I remember watching him when he was the correspondent in the Middle East, way back in the 70's....he wore those safari jackets and looked so handsome.

P - is for post cards. As you've seen recently, I have some old ones (I'll be showing a few more of them soon) and whenever I travel I usually pick up a few post cards. And then there are fabric post cards. I am the proud owner of one of those made by Deb over at Red Shoe Ramblings. I have it on my desk so I can look at it each day. Thanks again, Deb!!

P - is for pets. Mine have almost exclusively been cats. Now we have two cats, Harley and LuLu and they are both spoiled rotten. Harley is still on the mend but is doing so much better. LuLu has settled down and is almost herself again, too.

P - is for pet peeves, and I do have some! Major pet peeve....shopping carts left all over the parking lot. I recently parked right next to the cart return and when I came out of the store found someone's shopping cart left at the rear of my car!!! Just one or two steps from the cart return! That just really gets to me. Another pet peeve is people talking on cell phones EVERYWHERE. I don't want to hear your personal conversations while I'm shopping or eating out or just about any other public place. Now that I got those off my chest we can move on!!

P - is for pears and pineapples or pairs of pineapples. Love them! Fresh and juicy.

P - is for pastries....oh, I do love pastries. I very seldom eat them anymore but I still love them.

P - is for pie. (Do we see a trend here!!) When I was growing up my mom mostly baked pies because that's what my dad liked. I didn't care for pie that much....I liked cake better. About the only time we had cake was on my birthday or an occasional pineapple upside down cake. As I got older I discovered that pies were pretty darn good! My favorite would have to be my mom's pecan pie. I like most fruit pies, not too crazy about cream pies with the exception of butterscotch pie....another of my mom's best pies.

P - is for Peter Lore. If you aren't somewhere near my age you might not know him. He used to scare the you-know-what out of me when I was little. That voice! He was in Casablanca so you may have seen him there.

P - is for persnickity. That word cracks me up! I get all kinds of images running through my head!

P - is for penguins....all dressed up and no party!

P - is for Persian rugs. Beautiful!! I don't actually have one in my house but I still love them.

And finally my favorite....HB calls me The Potty Queen because I always scope out where the bathroom is located no matter where I am!! Afterall, a gal's gotta be prepared! (HB thought I was crazy to include that last little bit of information. Kinda like too much information!! But by now you should know me!)


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I've Got a New Look....

I finally got around to changing the colors on the blog....to what else....purple! That pale pink just wasn't me! So what do you think??

Random Countdown Meme

I've been having a dry spell the last couple of days so I was digging through some things I saved and came up with a meme!! I know....you're thrilled aren't you?? Well, this one comes from who else but Deb and she got it from Crazy Aunt Purl. It's called Random Countdown....so here we go.......

TEN random things you might not know about me:

1. I have my ears pierced for three earrings...two on the right ear and one on the left.
2. I am afraid of heights. Don't like glass elevators or anything like that!
3. I was a bartender in a nice steakhouse before I moved to California. As a single parent it was good money and short hours.
4. I also sold real estate back in the 70's.
5. I have always wished I was taller. As a teenager I met a distant relative at some family gathering....she was tall and willowy. From that moment on I wanted to be tall like her.
6. I had an Uncle Fat (that's what everyone called him!) who played Santa Claus every year.
7. I had aunts who were twins.
8. Math and science are not my strong subjects! My fifth grade teacher embarrassed me in front of the whole classroom because I couldn't do some multiplication tables and from that moment on I have a fog roll in when I'm confronted with math problems!
9. I have lived longer than either of my parents.
10. I used to have a bad temper....but I got over it.


NINE places I've visited:

1. Disneyland in Anaheim, CA
2. Yosemite National Park (one of my favorite places)
3. Gatlinburg, TN
4. Colorado Springs, CO
5. Santa Fe, NM....gorgeous town!
6. Canada
7. Mexico
8. Leavenworth, WA....a Bavarian-type village. Very picturesque.
9. West Palm Beach, FL (HB grew up there)
(I know these aren't very exciting but I think I've told you - I'm not a good traveler!!)

EIGHT ways to win my heart:

1. Cook for me!!
2. Do something nice for my kids or my grandkids.
3. Hold the door for me even if I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself.
4. Laugh at my jokes....even if they aren't all that funny!
5. Make me think I'm smart!
6. Notice little things.
7. Buy me flowers or any other little gift "just bee-cause"....gifts for no reason.
8. Tell me you like the things I create (even if they aren't good)


SEVEN things I want to do before I die:

1. Visit Alaska. My son lives there.
2. Research my family tree.
3. Take a vacation with no time restrictions....just travel until I want to stop and then stay until I want to leave. Stop along the road at antique shops or fruit stands or anything that looks interesting. Like taking a leisurely stroll.
4. Learn Paint Shop Pro!!
5. Live a simpler life with fewer possessions.
6. Have a room just for books....doesn't make much sense if you read number 5!!
7. Create something that people will love.

SIX things I'm afraid of:

1. Snakes
2. And then there's snakes.
3. Snakes on a plane.
4. Snakes anywhere near me.
5. Did I mention snakes??
6. Anything that even looks like it might be a snake!

FIVE things I don't like:

1. Bigotry
2. Narrow-minded people
3. Rudeness
4. Anyone who deliberately hurts someone.
5. Blood and guts movies/tv

FOUR ways to turn me off:

1. Preach to me about anything.
2. Not respecting my privacy or my space.
3. Ignore me when I'm talking.
4. Hurt someone I love.

THREE things I do every day:

1. Read something before bed.
2. Watch something on HGTV!! I admit it....I'm an HGTV addict.
3. Spend too much time on the computer!!

TWO things that make me happy:

1. Ice cream
2. Finding fun, new art supplies.

ONE thing on my mind right now:

1. Getting some ice cream and new art supplies so I'll be even happier than I am that I made it through this meme!!!! This was a toughie for me.


And I don't have a photo for this so here's another of my little watercolor fantasy flower thingies....

Monday, August 21, 2006

Twirling Tassels

Ok, today I'm sharing another one of my books with you. This one is a bit newer than the last couple I've shared. It was published in 2001 by Lorenz Books and the title is "tassels for the home: creating beautiful fabric decorations and ornamental trimmings" by Anna Crutchley.



This is one of those books that is just pretty to look at but it also has instructions on how to make several kinds of tassels....from basic to very intricate. I like tassels and most other embellishments so this book naturally caught my eye.

It isn't a large book....only about 7" X 9" with 160 pages. Books like this are very handy for me because they inspire me in many ways....not just for making tassels but maybe a photo will give me an idea for something altogether different. This is a good book for browsing and sipping a cup of tea.

This first tassel I chose from the book is a bit much for me but it is interesting. It's called Feathered Tassel.



The striped top area is what I think is most interesting. I think the squared top is perfect for the way they striped the threads. I might leave off the feathers and maybe use something a little less fluffy if I were to make this one....but maybe not!

Indigo Drop Tassel is unusual in the shape. The soft colors and the rounded bottom are what I like most.


Gold Silk Jasmine Tassel looks very delicate. This one is interesting to me because of the loopy, airy look of it. And the setting doesn't hurt either. All the tassels in the book are photographed in lovely settings.



This next photo is near the end of the book and shows four very different tassels. I like every one of these.



The back cover indicates there are step-by-step instructions for 40 projects. They seem to be fairly detailed and easy to follow....and there are several pages of "the basics" in the front. So if you like tassels this might be a fun book. I wish I could tell you that I have made some of these but sadly I have not! I have made tassels but just very basic ones.

HB wants to know when I'm going to model some tassels!! I told him these tassels weren't for wearing! And my name isn't Gypsy Rose Lee!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A few new and important post cards

Very briefly, as a young person, I thought about becoming an archaeologist. Mostly because I love old things and also because I love to know the history of things. But then reality set in and I decided that working in hot, dusty, dirty, dark places might not be my favorite thing to do!

I tell you this because I think there are some places in the world that should be preserved at all costs. I think that if a building has been able to withstand several centuries that we should do all we can to help it withstand a few more.

Last night I heard something on the TV news that just made me stop dead in my tracks. I guess I just haven't paid attention to all the news coming out of the Middle East over the past few weeks. Dwelling on bad stuff is not what I like to do. And I don't like to get into politics on my blog but....

I heard that the city of Baalbeck was being bombed! That may not mean anything to most of you. HB and I have some very nice neighbors on one side of our house. They were the only people on our street to welcome us to the neighborhood when we moved in. She is American and he is Lebanese.

Last summer they went to Lebanon to visit his family. I asked if they would bring some post cards back for me. (I know....I'm so bad!!) Well, they did and the post cards are from Baalbeck! Take a look at these beautiful buildings.


The first one is Bacchus Temple and the second one is the interior of the temple.



The next one is The Museum of the Temples and after that is Venus Temple.



Next is The Monolith at the Roman Quarry and last is The Six Columns of Jupiter Temple.



Can you imagine that these buildings have stood there for all these years and now they may be destroyed in the blink of an eye!!

I thought these were important to share with you no matter what your political or religious beliefs are. I'm not taking sides and I'm not trying to sway anyone in either direction. I'm just showing you some beautiful, very old buildings that are in danger. I am not making light of all the lives that have been lost. They are so very important, too. But everyone seems to talk about them....no one mentions the history and the buildings.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Thinking of you

Wow!! I am completely amazed and overwhelmed by your response to my doodle from yesterday! I mostly put it on as a "filler" because I like to have something visual on each post. Thank you to everyone who commented. I appreciate each and every one and feel as if I've just won the jackpot!

This being Saturday (translate to Lazy Day) I don't have anything much to put on here today. Harley is continuing his recovery from whatever happened to him, and we are so thankful for that. He is even chasing LuLu once in awhile! That's a good sign.

HB will be helping a neighbor today with some electrical work. And I will be sorting through more stuff! I'm still determined to rid myself of a lot of unnecessary junk. But not to worry....I'm not getting rid of my "memory" things. At least not all of them.

So since you enjoyed yesterday's little piece of art, here is another of my attempts. This is a small greeting card done on thick watercolor paper. I used watercolor pencils for this one....with the rest done with a micro pen.

I hope everyone has a fun-filled Saturday.....I'll be......



I used a stamp for the writing. I can't write like that!! And I don't know why there is a black mark at the edge....it isn't on the card and doesn't show up on my scan. Maybe blogger gremlins!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Some of my favorite things

My cousin sent this recently and I just had to share it. Maybe you've seen it already but I thought it was so funny....even though it isn't true! I checked with Snopes and this is one of those urban legend things. But it's still funny!!!

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To commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1, actress/vocalist Julie
Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for
the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favorite Things" from the legendary movie "Sound Of Music." However, the lyrics of the song were changed for the entertainment of her audience. Here are the lyrics she recited:


"Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails
and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a
few of my favorite things.


Cadillacs, cataracts , hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent
and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.


When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply
remember my favorite things, And then I don't feeeeeeeel, so bad.


Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or
food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring,
these are a few of my favorite things.


Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin', Thin bones and
fractures and hair that is thinnin', And we won't mention our short shrunken
frames, When we remember our favorite things.


When the joints ache, when the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then,
I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad."


Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores.

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I had a good chuckle over this one....and can sure relate to some of those things. I guess I'm not completely over the hill if they don't all apply yet!

And 'cause I don't have a photo for today here is one of my doodles....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

DB Cooper and Snow Dancing

Bet that title got your attention! It will all make sense in a minute....trust me! I am sooo excited! There's a new movie coming out soon that I want to see about 50 times, at least! It is being advertised everywhere and it just looks like my kind of movie. Think I'll try to be one of the first in line to see "Snakes on a Plane"....

If anyone has been reading this blog very long you know I hate snakes!! I don't want to see them, hear about them, I don't even want to be on the same planet with them!! And now every time I turn on the TV or even go online what do I see but something advertising "Snakes on a Plane"

How sadistic can someone be to think up a storyline like that!! What could be more horrible than to be trapped on an airplane full of snakes! Well, it would be my worst nightmare, I can tell you. I think I would have to just do a DB Cooper right out of that plane! For anyone too young to know who DB Cooper is, you can learn all about him here.

I'm not really interested in having the you-know-what scared out of me so I think this movie will be on my DO NOT SEE list! You couldn't pay me enough money to sit through such torture! And I actually like Samuel L. Jackson!!

Now that I've got that off my chest (whew!!) I'll show you a little bit of artwork I did over the past couple of days....in between taking care of Harley and getting some of his medicine down him.


I think I'll call her Snow Dancer....



Here's a close-up because her face doesn't show up too good in the other photo.



I did this mostly with Prismacolor markers and matching colored pencils. Speaking of those markers....does anyone know a trick to help them when they start to dry out? When we bought them the young girl in the art store told me there was a trick to keep them going even when they start to dry out....but I can't remember what it was! Some of them have barely been used and they already seem to be drying out! I have the set of 72 markers. HB bought them for me....he always encourages me to be creative. He's such a sweetie!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Old postcards from Flamborough

Recently I told you about my grandpa and great-grandpa and how they came to the US from England. I believe there were family members who stayed behind and may still be living somewhere in England. During WWII my grandparents and my great aunt sent "care" packages to some family members over there. Who knows....I may have cousins or some other distant relatives still living in that same area.

There must have been someone over there who sent things to my grandpa because I have many old postcards, mostly not written on, that are from the area. Today I'm going to share a few of them with you.

I scanned these, and the colors are rather faded. All but one of these shown here today are in color.

This first one is King and Queen Rocks, Flamborough....



The next one is North Landing, Flamborough....



This one is Flamborough Head....



This says it is St Oswalds' Church, Flamboro (different spelling, I guess)



And last, Parish church, Flambro (another spelling??) ....I believe this is the same church as above.



I have many more postcards from this era and from time to time will share them with you. I would love to see photos of these same places today (if they still exist) and see how much they have changed. I have done a bit of online searching but haven't come up with too much. I did find the Flamborough village website and it has a few photos. There's also a bit of information about Flamborough here.

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Harley update - the medicine is doing the trick! He actually chased LuLu this morning! You should see HB and me giving the medicine to Harley....HB wraps Harley in an old rug while I try to get most of the medicine into Harley's mouth, and all the while Harley is wiggling and squirming and trying to get away. It's amazing how a small animal weighing only about 14 pounds can take all HB's strength to hold!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another book on my shelf

Once again I'm going to share one of my books with you. This one is just a fun little crafty book with lots of quirky items to make. The name of this book is Rags: Making a Little Something Out of Almost Nothing. The authors are Linda and Stella Allison. The book was published by Clarkson N. Potter in 1979.



This is one of the few color pages in the book. I shows several small items that were made from tossed away clothing from family members. I think that's one of the things that appeals to me about this book. I love being able to make something out of nothing! The book has a dedication to the authors mother "who never threw anything away without a fight." A woman after my own heart!!



This next page appeals to me because I love the hat this woman is wearing....very Mary Poppins! This section of the book talks about buttons and what you can make with them. I love old buttons....well, you know me....I love just about anything old!



This is the back cover of the book. It shows the table of contents as well as the original price of $7.95. There are several small stories scattered throughout the book, and a couple of them are real jewels.



Books like this from the 60's and 70's are some of my favorites. They usually are full of instructions on how to make all kinds of things. Sure, some of them are things you might never want or need but I still think it's fun to read about them. And who knows when I may need to make a decorative comb for my hair or a magic wand! And I think I may need to put my hair up in rag curls tonight....thank goodness this book gives me all the directions!

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Harley update - Once again a visit to the vet! We're going to get a cot installed in the waiting room!! The drooling and slobbering is from an ulcer on Harley's tongue. Could be from something toxic that he walked in, then licked his paw. We have more medicine to try to get him to take. Notice I said try....it takes both me and HB to get a dropper of medicine into Harley. So now we have antibiotics and the new medicine....both to be given twice daily. The fun just keeps on coming!! But at least it seems to be helping.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Masquerade

My second post of the day!! Yea! And blogger actually let me upload a photo!! This is a drawing I recently finished. Just done with markers. It makes me think of my Aunt Dotti who loved clowns.

Oh, it could be time....

Yep. It is time! Yesterday it was banana bread. Today it's alphabet soup!... or what everyone else is calling wordplay. If you want to play along just join in anytime. You don't have to start at a certain time or do the letters on a schedule. The whole thing is up to you. Come on! It sure is fun!

Today's letter is "O"

O - is for Oprah and okra. One I like and one I don't!!

O - is for "on sale"....love those words.

O - is for OMG (oh, my gosh or god) Something I say quite often.

O - is for ooh-la-la....and oodles. Some other things I say.

O - is for Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh....as in Tim "the Toolman" Taylor. HB says this when he talks about anything guy-ish!

O - is for on time. This is something I am....always! I hate being late for anything.

O - is for outrageous....also something I can be!!

O - is for "Outer Limits" (the old version) and "Out of Africa." A TV program and a movie that I like.

O - is for opportunity. Who doesn't like this word!

O - is for Oregon. HB and I lived there twice....once near Eugene and once in Oakridge.

O - is for ocean. Growing up in Illinois I never saw the ocean. After I moved to CA in 1979, I was too busy trying to get settled to think about going to see the ocean. A few friends were talking one evening and they were astounded that I hadn't seen the ocean yet. We all piled into cars and drove to the ocean right then and there! Even though it was dark when we got there, it was still an overwhelming experience for me. I could have stood there and watched the waves roll in for hours. I don't go often but I do enjoy a walk on the beach. Strangely, I like to go when it isn't sunny and bright but rather grey and stormy. I know....I'm weird!

O - is for Omnico. A girlfriend and I owned a home repair business in the 80's and this was the name of it. We had a lot of fun doing all sorts of things.

O - is for odometer. My little Honda's reads 167,972!! She's beginning to show her age (1990) but I still love her. Her name is Rhonda 'cause she's R(our) Honda!

O - is for online....something I am right now! And often I am here way too much!!



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Harley update - Sunday Harley developed a new symptom! Now he's drooling and slobbering on himself. After doing a little google search it seems that the head injury thing may be valid as the slobbering is usually a sign of some injury to the mouth....like a loose tooth or some foreign object lodged in his mouth. I'm calling the vet today to see what they say now. You would think they would have checked all these things when Harley was in there!

He seems to be feeling a bit better each day. Sunday evening he was even trying to get outside! But that isn't going to happen until I'm sure he's ok. I wish I could get him to stay inside all the time but we've tried that before and he just drives us nuts until we let him out!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hungry??



Are you hungry? How about a slice of banana bread and a cup of tea? Sound good? Well, come on over. The bread is still warm from the oven and it's a very simple recipe that my mom used all the time.

BANANA BREAD

2 C sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C mashed ripe bananas
1 C chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)

1/3 C milk to which you add 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar

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Mix the sifted flour, soda, and salt together and set aside.

Cream the butter, add the sugar, creaming well.

Add the eggs and the mashed bananas and continue to mix well.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix well after each addition.

Stir in the chopped nuts and mix. Pour into a 9" X 5" X 3" loaf pan and bake at 350ยบ for 60 - 70 minutes.

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Now wasn't that easy? Told ya! Tastes good, too. HB and I love this bread. So what are you waiting for? Either get over here and help us eat it or make some of your own. You'll be glad you did.

And the best part...there's none of that bad stuff - high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Beaded Angel Bug

With all that's been going on around here I'm surprised that I can remember my own name! I finally made it up to my workroom and just fiddled around with some things. A little of this and a little of that and oh, that's cute, I'll use that, too. No plan, no pattern, not even an idea...just needed to be in my room.

There were beads that had been left out (remember the bead fiasco from a few weeks ago!!)....you would think I'd learn my lesson but noooo, not me. Anyway there they sat without their lid so I thought I would use a few of them before they ended up on the floor again! Then some yarn caught my eye so that was added to the pot. I stirred it all around and decided it needed more stuff so I found some little plastic heart-shaped bracelets and they were thrown in....

The result is my beaded angel bug!!



I may add some more stuff to her but at least I'm creating something again.

Now for another subject. I read quite a few blogs (use bloglines to keep track of them) and since I like comments so much I always try to leave them when I visit. I have encountered several blogs (they all use blogger) where the comment button doesn't work. I click on it but nothing happens. Nada, nothing, no little box pops up to let me leave a comment. Has this happened to anyone else?

If you know a solution, please clue me in. Two of the blogs that come to mind right away are Tea and Margaritas in My Garden....don't you just love the name of that one!!...and the other one is Art Junk. I was able to contact Art Junk via her email a couple of months ago and the problem was momentarily fixed but now it's happening again. There is no email listed for the other blog so I can't even let her know.

There are comments by other people because the little comment link usually has a number showing for the amount of comments for that post. You know what it looks like.

I'm just curious if this happens a lot or if it's just me (am I being blocked??) And are there people who haven't been able to comment on my blog? Or yours?

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Harley update: After talking with the vet Friday afternoon the general concensus is that Harley was more than likely hit by a car....a glancing blow....or by something or someone else. It was most likely a head injury that caused his "drunken" behavior. That's what he acted like....a drunk! He staggered, fell over, and seemed to have a glazed look in his eyes.

Through it all Harley has remained fairly calm and subdued. HB and I have agreed that all the things they did and said at the emergency pet clinic were all wrong! And I hate to say this but I think it was just to get $$!! Apparently none of the things they did would have made a difference one way or the other. And I still can't get over the fact that they wanted to give Harley anti-venom even after they said he hadn't been bitten by a snake! That just doesn't make any sense to me....except the anti-venom cost $600 and that would have been a nice chunk of change for them!

I shouldn't be so skeptical but it has been a rough few days. The person at the emergency clinic called here at 5:30 that morning to tell us Harley probably wouldn't make it! And obviously he has. Why would they say that if it wasn't true? That scared the poo right out of me!! Harley still isn't back to being himself....still no purring but he is able to get up the stairs and he made it up onto the couch. Both of those are huge improvements.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Formal Affair

I have never liked to dance. Maybe because I never actually learned how! I always feel all arms and legs when I try to dance....and each one is going in a different direction! And if I try to slow dance I usually end up trying to lead which doesn't thrill HB!! I'm just not a very physically coordinated person.

The only time I ever had any kind of dance lessons was in grade school. We had to learn square dancing because you know how important that is in real life!! I have nothing against square dancing but I don't run across lots of square dancing anywhere I've lived. And besides, I don't look good in those frilly, fluffy, swirly skirts!

Now in later years I confess....I have danced a little bit but only after "Jose" and I knocked back a few!! A couple of margaritas and I'm a dancin' fool!! Well, not really but if I ever dance it is usually only after a couple of drinks....and by then I never know what I'm doing anyway!! One drink is my limit.

This is all leading up to my first dance ever. It was in junior high (middle school, as it is called today!) and I was very excited about it. Not because of the dancing but because I got to buy a "formal" as they were called in those days (back in the olden days!)

My mom and I went shopping and I probably tried on just about every dress that was available in my hometown....but my mom set limitations! Darn! Mothers are so....motherly! The biggest rule she set was no strapless dresses! And in those days it wasn't such a bad idea as I didn't have anything to hold one up anyway!

Knowing me you would think my first formal would have been lavender or purple but this time you would be wrong! I chose a dress in pale aqua. Still not a bad choice for my hair and eye coloring.

This is a photo of me in that first formal. Way back in ancient times before people took colored photographs! The photo isn't very good....too bright, but I think you can tell it's a formal dress and it isn't strapless! Please excuse the goofy look on my face! And dig those drapes!! Molly would probably love to have those for her shop.





If you're a fairly regular visiter here then you probably know what's coming next! And you would be right! I still have the dress today. I'm crazy! I know it. But ya gotta love my determination and perserverance to keep these things for soooo many years. So....here is the dress today!!!




The evening was a success and I did dance a little bit. The awful thing is I can't remember who I went to the dance with!! The whole thing was all about the dress! I did have my priorities back then!

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Harley update: The tests reveal that he does not have any illness like feline leukemia or aids....that's good news....but they still aren't sure what's wrong with him! He will see the vet again this afternoon. Harley is eating a bit more and seems to be moving around a little better but he has gotten a lot thinner in just a few days! He seems lost or confused which makes me wonder if he has had some kind of head injury.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Harley Update

Thank you to everyone who left comments regarding Harley. I appreciate all your thoughts and well wishes....it meant a lot to hear from each and every one of you.

Well, the good news is Harley made it through the day Wednesday. The bad news is, after seeing two veterinarians, having many different tests, and well over $1000 spent no one knows for sure what is wrong with Harley!!

We found Harley in the backyard Tuesday afternoon just "sleeping" under a bush. Usually when we open the patio door he just comes running.... we always joke that he looks like a little sumo wrestler coming across the yard! But this time he didn't. He could barely get up on all fours, and then he walked like an old man, all hunched up and wobbly. He only made it part way across the yard and just fell over.

HB and I rushed out to see what was wrong with Harley....we looked him over good but there were no wounds of any kind. We brought him in the house and got the pet carrier, loaded him up and went to the emergency clinic.

Harley is still not able to move around much, he sleeps more than usual, and he isn't purring. When Harley purrs you know it!! He sounds like a Harley!

After spending the night under observation at the emergency clinic, Harley was said to have not been bitten by a snake! But they still wanted us to fork over $600 to give him anti-venom!! We did not do that....if he wasn't bitten by a snake we didn't see any reason to give him the anti-venom.

Harley spent a very quiet day at home and then in the afternoon went to his regular vet. They did even more tests, and then took x-rays but nothing seems to be showing up as a reason for his decline. One day he was fine, the next day he wasn't.

Harley is resting (at this very moment) behind my chair, he managed to eat a little bit tonight and he has some anti-biotics to take....just in case. And he will have a follow-up visit to the vet again tomorrow.

Note: I'm updating this to let you know I spoke with the vet about poisonings and since Harley does not have vomiting or diarhhea that is an unlikely scenario.

A couple of ladies....

Once in awhile I actually do try to create something!! I usually have a very difficult time putting down on paper what I see in my mind. I guess I don't know the right techniques....or maybe I'm just not all that talented! Either way I get frustrated and then give up for awhile.

I did these a few months ago. Most of the time when I do these ladies, I'm concentrating on the dress as the featured part of the drawing. I never put faces on the ladies....sometimes just the hint of eyes.

This one is my Deco Diva....



This one is Lily Lady....she's my favorite.



They're done on watercolor paper....I think it might be about 14" X 18" These are the largest ones I've done. Most of them have been much smaller. Several months ago I posted this lady. She was one of the first ones I did with any color. Mostly I've worked with black and white only. Sometime in another post I'll try to show some of those.

Note: I had this post ready but something has happened in the last few overnight hours. Remember yesterday when I mentioned our other cat, Harley. and how he likes to run and chase birds? He's always been an outside kitty, only coming inside for a little while here and there.

Late yesterday afternoon, he apparently tangled with a snake of some kind....most opinion is a Green Mojave. He probably won't make it. We just got off the phone with the vet (5:30 AM) and Harley's white and red blood count is going down even after all they did for him overnight.