30 April 2009

#120 Dogwood

About a month ago, the dogwood were blooming in North Carolina, (according to Tammy's blog). This is a well groomed tree in someone's yard, but there were a lot of dogwoods blooming in this neighborhood so we've caught up. (Not us way up here in the woods....but down in "town" in Eagle Point.)

29 April 2009

#119 High Wire Act

Another way to part with a pair of shoes? (Not my shoes, okay?)

28 April 2009

#118 - I told you I was frugal.

I had to part with a pair of shoes this weekend; I've had them for over 40 years. That's before I was married. OMG. I know I am frugal when I look at these. I was surprised to find they are too small on me; I wore them a couple weeks ago and didn't even notice that my feet have grown!
I went through my closet and looked at all the clothes I'll never squeeze into again and those that just hold good memories I guess. Why else would I hold onto them?
It is time to let loose of stuff in there. So I'll prepare myself mentally this week and make it a goal for the weekend. I'll have to come up with some rule like: if I haven't worn it in X amount of time, out it goes. (That will take care of most of the clothes for sure because I'm so fat just a few things fit.)

27 April 2009

#117 OUT OF THE WAY...Sandee's in the kitchen!

Company's coming and I'm in charge of dessert. I'm good a math, so just how many containers of cream does it take to make a whipped topping, (plus powdered sugar, gucci cocoa powder, and fresh orange peel and juice?) My math told me one but as you can tell, I was wrong...it took three until I finally got it right.
The recipe called for 1½ cups of heavy cream. We normally use 1% milk so to me "heavy" meant half and half. I was to beat it until it formed stiff peaks. It sounded like it would be fast so I got out my hand mixer. Minutes and minutes later...it was still liquid and mind you, the liquid was flying everywhere. There wasn't a piece of paper or an area on the island that wasn't coated in chocolate. I even placed a kitchen towel around the blender to prevent the splashing going on. Didn't work.
I'm a determined kind of gal so I bumped it up a notch....went to the heavy duty mixer and the whip attachment. When this didn't work and my arms looked like I was one big chocolate Easter treat, I picked up the phone and called for help. None of my real-cooks-friends were home. As I hung up the phone and was screaming out loud.....I realized that "heavy" did NOT mean weight. (I had held the cream in my hand at the market and thought, "Yup, this is heavy.") It must have meant "whipping" instead. So back to the market!
Of course, in a tiny town, you are bound to see someone you know at the market....well make that 5 someones, and I growled at all of them. And no, I hadn't washed my arms, my face, or apparently my glasses. I thought I had my sunglasses on in the market but when I took them off, I realized they were just coated in chocolate!
So here it is, Fudge Cappuccino Orange Torte. (Serves 20 so you know how rich it is.)

Well, what does the recipe know? We all made ourselves sick by eating more than one serving. Will I make it again? Nope. But I'll remember the flavors and enjoy my memories!
(Much less frustrating that way)

26 April 2009

#116 Hair Cutting time

My scraggly cat loves getting into the stickers so it's time to start trimming his mane. I managed to trim his chest before he started biting the scissors. The groomers won't shave cats, evidently it pulls their hair? Little by little, I'll get his sides trimmed up. Then he'll be a choppy, scraggly cat. Poor boy.
He is such a love bug that it doesn't matter to me how he looks.

25 April 2009

#115 Changing of the Quilt

I try to change the painting on the quilt shop window every couple of months, this is the latest. I've decided to paint quilt blocks on the front planter box with permanent ink. The owner likes the idea so that will be another summer project.

24 April 2009

#114 Track Meet

I volunteered at my first track meet yesterday. I had been to one meet when our girls were in high school. I remember an ocean of kids and adults and several events happening at the same time and nothing too clear to focus on.
Well, we are a tiny school and we invited our neighboring schools...even smaller than ours to our event. Although the events did overlap each other, you could just gaze across the field and see the other events happening.
I ended up not being needed so I stood on the sidelines and took pictures and screamed for every kid who ran. I had access to the list so I could root for the other team members as well. It was great fun.
The girl jumping the hurdles is a homeschooled student who, along with her brother, takes part with all our sports.

23 April 2009

#113 New Moon on Earth Day

Good morning new moon! What a nice gift to receive this view at dawn on Earth Day!

22 April 2009

#112 A Beautiful Sight to End the Day

Last evening, I glanced out the window and saw the most incredible cloud formation glowing from the setting sun. My camera serves me quite well and has been dragged everywhere with me. Every once in awhile, something like this cloud comes along where I could benefit from a higher quality camera. The true colors just didn't come through but believe me when I say the "AWE FACTOR" was at play with this cloud. Wow!

21 April 2009

#111 CELEBRATE !!!

(photo taken a couple years ago at Disneyland)

TODAY IS THE DAY! Danette got the results of her PET SCAN and she is CLEAR OF CANCER. She beat the monster.
(Remember my Tigger photo? Well, I'm bouncing again today!) Way to go, Danette!!!

20 April 2009

#110 If I Weren't So Gray, I'd Be Blonde

I've done some pretty ditzy things in my life - like taking our dog's heartworm medicine by mistake. (I thought it was my vitamin left on the counter.)
Yesterday was one of those days where my blonde was showing through the gray. I have this kitchen cleaner that I've had since 1987, (according to the label). It isn't made any longer so I dole it out sparingly. Well, I needed it - nothing else was working to clean my tile and grout.
So....I grab the "green liquid" and poured it out on the counters and scrubbed, rinsed, scrubbed some more. It wasn't working.
Of course, it wasn't working, I had layered Miracle-Gro on my counter tops!

(The Scratch Guard lid has even rotted off and fell inside the bottle...thus the baggie "lid".) Hey, I'm frugal, okay? I'm not even going to mention how old my makeup is; my loved ones would worry even more about me!

19 April 2009

#109 Freeze Dried Fruit Trees

On my way into Medford, I took a different road than usual and came upon this frozen pear orchard. (Click on the top photo and you can see the icicles.) The orchardists turn the water on when the weather goes below freezing in order to protect the blossoms in ice. Strange, but it works. It was so beautiful to see because the sun was coming up and the ice was sparkling. Fortunately, there weren't any cars on the 2-lane road so I could snap some photos.

18 April 2009

#108 In Training

So here I am, 62 years old, and I'm still taking classes. Yesterday's class went until 8:00 pm and it was worth every minute. Today we start up at 8:00 am, (even though I started at 3:00 this morning....too much on my mind to sleep!)
Jack thinks I could lead classes myself because I've taken so many over the years. Basically, he is correct. Just a smidgeon of the information was new to me, but the way in which it was organized was very impressive and I'm at the stage that I need to follow check lists so this will be helpful for sure. Besides, it was a ton of fun!

17 April 2009

#107 Annual Harassment

I have 2 days off from work and thus scheduled my annual female checkup with my Ob/Gyn, Dr. Ramsey. As usual, I had to fill out 2 full pages of paperwork. I have a sassy attitude when it comes to these forms and yesterday was no exception.
Under marriage status, I wrote "blissful" - under methods to prevent pregnancy, I wrote "old age" - under other complaints/issues, I wrote "too much paperwork" and at the top of the page was reason for my visit.....my answer: Annual Harassment.
The harassment goes both ways, I harass him and he harasses me. I detest the exams, I dislike the questions, but I love my doctor.

16 April 2009

#106 The Pole

I pass by this pole (post) on my way to work. It makes me think of the person who spends time and energy thinking of ways to decorate the pole. I cannot see the house that belongs to this pole as it sits down in a hole and I've never witnessed the decorating process.
American Indians had their medicine shields or wampum belts to announce to strangers a bit about themselves or their journey in life. This Oregonian has her roadside pole/post.

15 April 2009

#105 Tigger and Me

There are several days where I feel bouncy. On those days, I think of Tigger. The more I think of Tigger, the "bouncier" I become. Lately, I'm a lot like Tigger.
Monday was my "baby's" 37th birthday and Danette's first half-day back at work. Now that made me bounce for sure.
Yesterday, the bounce was because of our school playground system that is actually being installed little by little. During a lightly falling snow, the area was scraped of its pea gravel.

I'm wondering what will cause me to bounce today.

14 April 2009

#104 Wild flowers

Well, our wildflowers have begun to bloom. I've seen white, purple, orange and blue ones so far and the wild strawberries are in bloom. Mmmmm those berries are so tastey!

13 April 2009

#103 Weekend Project

This is my new TO-MARKET bag. It is nice and roomy. Now that I know I will like it, I'm going to make one in some wild colors. (Well, wild for me, maybe.)

12 April 2009

#102 Dedicated To Mom

Today's blog is dedicated to my mom who reads our family's blogs every day and who met me in France for a month of my journey back in 2006.
I wanted to post from that trip because it is on my mind and in my heart every single day since I returned. It was a life changing experience for me.
I'm afraid I wasn't very nice to Mom. I had planned my trip off and on for 40 years and I had it so planned down to how much money I could spend each day and on what, etc. I stayed in some pretty raunchy "hotels", RARELY ate in restaurants - I'd buy something from a bakery and make it last a few days.
Mom wanted to share and buy lunch or dinner here or there and I refused to allow her to put into my carefully planned budget. If she paid for something, I'd write it down and I would pay her back before we went to bed. If I paid for something, she'd have to pay me back before she went to bed! We'd be counting out Euros on the bed trying to make change for each other. It would be funny if it weren't so horribly true. (sorry, Mom).
Anyway, this is one of those places where I should have allowed Mom to just treat me - to a tour of this incredible Arena in Arles....(where Van Gogh painted). But...No....not stubborn me. So I took photos of the outside while Mom sat on the steps and watched me. I don't know how you put up with me for over a month, Mom, but I do love you for it.

11 April 2009

#101 Photo Walls

My travel wall. Ever since I went to France, I need a space to post my special travel photos. Small wall - many more photos than this to post....guess I'll put them on a rotation.

Grandkids art work is the best and deserves a step up from the front of my refrigerator so this is in the spot for now to showcase their talents.
Family wall - as the family expands, this wall gets fuller and fuller. What fun!

10 April 2009

100 DAYS

100 days into 2009, and 100 days of posting photos...so what better way to celebrate than to post our school's new bleachers.
We received two sets, keeping them low to the ground so the school won't get sued if someone falls. They also can be moved around for other events besides Track or Football. The kids have been raising money for years and years to purchase new playground equipment. The middle school usually gets left out so we made sure they had their bleachers before the new playground got put together!
I baked cookies for the maintenance crew who put these together and hope to deliver them today. (Kind of a bribe to not forget us and to get going on the playground when the weather breaks.)
I smiled all day yesterday just thinking of these little bleachers. We finally have something to show after all these years!

09 April 2009

#99 Have You Done Your Taxes Yet???

We have! Done and stashed away until the next time. What a pain in the arse!

08 April 2009

#98 Sad Commentary

This is the ghost of a commercial orchard; there are many, many more ghosts around our valley. We used to be a huge fruit growing county, now the orchards are disappearing. We import from Asia now. That makes as much sense as me taking a bath in a barrel of tar.
We need to watch our labels and buy locally....or at least from the closest source possible.
Jack and I purchase locally or items made on the West Coast to help cut down dependancy on oil. Items like bananas and coffee I make an allowance for.
I do reccomend a book by Barbara Kingsolver called "Animal, Mineral, Vegetable" (I think that's the title...something like it.) Good reasonings on why we should try and purchase only locally made items.
She made it a year and purchased locally for almost everything. She was fortunate in that she lived in an area in Virginia where they kept their farmers' market open year round. Ours runs about 5 months and is a 45 mile round trip to get there! The really nice market is 90 miles round trip!
Just one of life's challenges....being responsible with our resources. Seeing the lumber mills closing and the logging trucks parked in the parking lots and the orchards disappearing are just reminders for me of how fragile our system truly is.
(Okay, I'll get down from my soapbox now.)

07 April 2009

#97 Surprise....sort of...

Okay....Amy posted her photo so I can now post mine. Amy had posted a comment on one of my blogs that we should trade an afghan for a quilt. I agreed and we e-mailed one another the colors we'd prefer and that was it. So I started to work on a lap quilt for Amy; got it done and mailed it off. She received it yesterday so I'll post my photo when I get home from work today. I can't wait to see her with the quilt.....all the way on the other side of the country! yay!
One of these days, we'll be able to meet in person which will only enhance the friendship we have formed through our blogs.

06 April 2009

#96 - 18 Years Later

We've lived here 18 years and I still get excited when the deer come calling. I can't have flowers because of them, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to take. Deer are common in these parts. They are everywhere; if I'm not stopping for a deer to cross the road, I'm stopping for a flock of turkeys to cross! And I wait.....wearing a smile.

05 April 2009

#95 Lone Turkey

For years, we have had this lone turkey hanging out in and around our field. ('not enough grass to call it a pasture). I was in a hurry coming home the other day when I saw her hanging out with the horses. I turned off the engine to my ole' van and watched for quite awhile; wondering why she is alone; what makes turkeys ostracise one of their own; is there something different about this turkey, etc. It has always made me sad to see this turkey all alone when there are flocks of 18-40 sharing the same turf.
Later I looked out from the kitchen and saw her again...(I think she's a hen). I need to give her a name....what do you think I should name her?

04 April 2009

#94 Flat Stanley Visits

Flat Stanley is a flat doll who travels around the world to learn whatever he can. After each "foreign" visit, he is returned to the school from where he started his journey. Students send him as far away as they can and they share with their classmates what they have learned
after Stanley returns.
Flat Stanley has visited me twice. Yesterday, I took him to school with me. Today he is going to learn how to saddle up and ride a horse. I may just ride with him.

03 April 2009

#93 Say Cheese

400 members in our union, working without a contract for the whole year. The US economy is in the toilet so how can we strike? For me, the decision was easy - it was all about respect. Whether one is the boss or the worker, respect has to flow both ways. Respect in my little pea brain is free. Doesn't cost a thing except in the language - how we speak to others, and how we talk on paper....as in contract language. After picketing throughout our district, we all met in a HUGE Bingo Hall.....(felt like a sports stadium it was so big!).... we overwhelmingly voted to strike. Knowing the public wouldn't understand how we could possibly be standing up when hundreds of thousands of Americans are without a job at all. Bottom line: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Something came out of that vote: One man stood up just before we voted and asked that no matter how we voted, that we remain together as a group with the common cause of being committed to the children entrusted to us; that we not be divided, that we treat one another with respect even though we may be voting the opposite of our co-workers. (It was an open vote where we had to stand up to vote.)

The bargaining team left to return to the negotiations table and guess what? Both teams worked through the entire night until they came up with an agreement.....giving and taking on both sides.. (duh).... and at 6:30 a.m. the next morning, they met in the middle.

The entire bargaining took over a year. That particular day, the teams on both sides were at it for just shy of 24 hours. Amazing how we can meet in the middle without hurting one another. Respect. I do love that.

So this old wanna-be-hippie, got to picket one afternoon and flash the peace sign and a smile at passer byers (???) and know that either way the vote went, I'd go with the outcome. I didn't want to be without the kids on a daily basis, but I had faith it would work out in the end.

(I told everyone to hide their faces because I was going to post this photo on the web...they did and I yelled "Say Cheese"!)

02 April 2009

#92 Some Kind of Hot Flash!

Jack and I are already quite opposite in our approaches to life, but lately, the inside temp of our house has been one of those areas where we do NOT agree upon. No wonder I'm hanging over the railing OUTSIDE fanning myself!! And by the way, this is in the kitchen, not the living room where the wood burning stove and television are. He, on the other hand, has on long johns and is still "cold". I think he needs his thermometer checked....and I'm not talkin' about the one in this photo!