30 June 2010

Art in the Library

Our Friends of the Library sponsor Art in the Library every 3 months. This month was extra special because the kids who have paintings hanging were invited to attend the artists' reception with their families.


Artist, Bob Falkner, chatting with guests.

Of course, I had to bake some goodies to take along just in case a ton of kids showed up. (They didn't, but the cookies were a success just the same.) I enjoy being a part of the local community even though I don't live directly in the town, I do volunteer a lot.

26 June 2010

Ahhhhh, Life is Good!



We enjoyed a quick visit from Danette and her family. Grandkids have a way of making me giggle. They enjoyed feeding the turtles every evening and checking in on the fairy-ring-tree for possible surprises from the fairies!
I would just love to close the gap between all our families but how do ya squeeze Washington, Oregon and California together?!

24 June 2010

"Our" Little Buck

Terrie, yes, the little fawns were in our "yard". I heard them squealing outside and saw them running around. I went in for my camera and they had caught up with their mom and left just as I got the camera running. This is a buck who visits us daily.
The bumps on his face are deer ticks. The deer are the reason why we don't have domestic flowers - they eat everything except herbs. I don't want any fences because the deer were here way before we ever built our house in the woods; so we plant herbs!

video

22 June 2010

Pond Life





I can't sleep....'been up since 1:00 a.m. My mind is racing and it is all about school next year! How dumb is that?! The bullfrogs are so loud, it sounds like they are right outside our door instead of way down the bottom of our hill! Those rascals. It just so happens that Jack and I took a walk to the pond and tossed out some old bread to the turtles. (Yes, he can walk but that's about it for now...thank goodness he can get outdoors a bit or he would be going crazy!)
It is surprising to us how much is growing in the pond this year and the water isn't clear like it normally is. All I know is you couldn't pay me to go wading in this muck. There are a bunch of bluegill fish, tons of polliwogs and we counted five turtles and an abundance of frogs.
Even though it is yucky, I enjoy being at the pond and watching all the action. The dragonflies are so much fun to watch darting around and eventually, the horse makes her way down to see what we are doing at "her" pond!

21 June 2010

Whew!!!

OFF THE HOOK!!!

Yay! I'm off the hook for Federal Jury Duty. Whew! I have worried for days about having to be the one to decide the fate of someone else. I dutifully made my phone call last night and have been released from my jury duty! Hip! Hip! Hooray!!!!
(photo borrowed again from Google images!)



20 June 2010

The Nut Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

( I borrowed this photo from: blogs.venturacountystar.com) I did a Google search for it.
I just hung up from talking to Mom. She had me laughing so hard, I had tears rolling down my cheeks! The clue of the missing swimming suit bottoms is in this story and it has to do with bloodlines!
Mom had some chicken meat that she had picked off of a chicken she had cooked up. She decided biscuits would go nicely with her chicken. While at the market, she thought about women who buy biscuits in a can and she thought she would try them. (I'd never heard of biscuits in a can then I remembered those canisters that you whack on the counter top to get them opened....yup, those.)
Anyway, she gets the "can" home and gets a can opener to open it. It wouldn't grab the can so she peeled paper off from around the lid. According to her, she had a devil of a time getting that lid off. Once she did, the dough oozed out the end but the biscuits didn't come out.
She decided to try and open the other end to get them out. As she turned the canister over, she saw the label where it says, "Tear here". She tore the wrapper off and still had trouble getting into the package.
She now considers herself a "modern" woman who ate biscuits out of a can.
(Uhhh.....sure, Mom, whatever you say!)
All I know is that the two of us had best NEVER be in the kitchen together. The world just couldn't handle that at all.

19 June 2010

Baby Quilt Finshed

This little quilt is about 4' x 4' (47" square, actually)
I would not have chosen these colors to put into a baby quilt but once it was finished, I rather enjoy the colors. They are soothing and would work for either a boy or a girl. It was ordered specifically in these shades of green, gray and cream.
Meanwhile, Jack has re-injured his back. He is on the floor once again and I'm putting his socks back on his feet. I told him it's time to sell our property and our lovely home and move to a condo where someone else mows the lawn and tends to the outside painting, etc. (If he weren't already in so much pain, I do believe that suggestion would have put him down on the floor all by itself! He let out a groan and said he isn't ready to sell.)
He might not be ready, but I have a feeling his body is trying to tell him something and I'm the only one who can hear it talking!

16 June 2010

Embarrassing moment....

It's a good thing I can laugh at myself because the only other option in this story would have been for me to cry: Our middle school planned to go to the lake and waterslides for an end of the year field trip. I decided I needed a new more modestly cut swimming suit for this trip and found one of those two pieces with the boxer type shorts and the top hangs down way beyond my tummy. Quite nice, actually.
So Monday, I got up and the sky looked like it was going to rain. The weather was supposed to be in the 70's but I didn't like the looks of it. I decided to throw the bottoms of my suit into my beach bag in case it warmed up and I wanted to swim, and meanwhile I wore the top half and put some stretchy long pants on.
So I was on the grass area of the beach with three staff members talking, enjoying the day, etc. There were several kids in the water. I figured I might as well go swimming too.
I stood up, peeled my long pants off and headed for the beach. (yup.)
Anyway, I'm walking and my brain told me I should tighten the drawstring of my bottoms so I lifted up my top and saw my undies! I was so shocked I yelled out, "Oh s--- I'm in my underwear!" I ran back to get my bottoms and the other women were rolling in the grass laughing so hard! To my surprise, there were also two 6th grade boys sitting there with their eyes bugging out of their heads! (So much for my "modest" swim suit!)
I started laughing too and grabbed my swim suit bottoms and pulled them on over my undies. I looked at the boys and offered them $5 each not to say a word to anyone because it was just a stupid accident.
Yeah, well, that lasted as long as it took me to get into the water....which, by the way, was freezing cold and it didn't take me long to turn purple.
By the time we all went back to the picnic grounds for lunch, several folks were making funny remarks to me so the word had spread through our entire school. (small school)
It didn't end on Monday though. No.... I got into work on Tuesday and my computer desktop had been changed to a huge photo of "grannie undies"!
Then as the kids were leaving for the buses and it was the last day of school.... one of those 6th graders said good-bye to me. I told him to have a nice summer and he rubbed his hands saying, "Oh I will....I'm going to be thinking up ways of blackmailing you in September!"
I'm sure he will forget all about it by that time. (Either that or he has been scarred for life.)
Me? It's just another day in my life. Please note that I did not title this my MOST embarrassing moment because I have had worse!
I just wonder how old do I have to get to NOT have these moments?

14 June 2010

Letters!

I normally try to write up something fun for the 8th graders who are leaving. I tried but just ran out of steam so I figured I'd just skip it this year. That is until Friday when one of those little critters came up to me and asked if I was going to write him a letter. I said no, I'd run out of time and he was crushed. Obviously, I had to rethink my position.
Saturday was my day to write letters. Since I'd seriously left it to the last minute, I typed them up this time and put them inside of note cards.
I discovered something about this process and that is I need to do this every year. It is therapeutic. I had pretty much given up on a lot of these kids because of their snotty attitudes and the way they are so consumed with themselves and no one else. All of this had turned my attitude into one that needed adjusting! As I struggled to find something endearing about some of them, I realized they had some pretty good traits hidden under all that garbage.
Next year, when they start to feel their oats and I start to wane, I'm going to get out my stationery and begin writing early. That way, I'll be focusing on their positives rather than the negatives they love to flaunt! My next discovery: I will miss them!

13 June 2010

First Butterfly Sighting

Okay, so it might not officially be a butterfly, it's possible it's a moth. Whatever the winged beauties are, they excite me each year when I see the first one(s). In this case there are three nearly identical ones at our lavender every day. They seem to tell me that summer is near and all is well... even if I do have jury duty in just 8 days!

09 June 2010

Kids' Art Project

I helped to write a grant to get an art hanging system for our public library. We got the grant and Jack got the bid to make the frames. Then we needed art. Well, due to "No Child Left a Dime" (oh, I mean No Child Left Behind)..., we no longer have art in our school. Actually, art is disappearing in most schools around here. If it is a small school, you can bet there isn't any art unless a teacher majored in art and some other subject so they can multi-teach!
Anyway, I decided to take my lunch break and go teach some art to the 4th/5th graders. Luckily for me, the teacher was agreeable and the timing worked out perfectly.
Understand that these kids have not had art before. I got them for 5 lessons and I had to have something to hang in the library when done!
We had a couple drawing lessons then painted a sheet of construction paper with cheap watercolor paints. Once those dried, I talked about art styles and "anything" goes! All I wanted was a fish from each of them and they had to fill the page. They had to draw a fish onto their watercolor page. Then draw them with Sharpie pen and if they wanted, they could cut the fish out and mount it onto white paper.
I rounded up two volunteers and we spent 3 hours putting the paintings into the frames and hanging them.
The resulting paintings follow.
I was rather disappointed when they first turned them into me, but as I mounted each one and saw the designs they painted or the characters of the fish or thought of the child; my smile grew larger and larger. I love them.
(Some are hung a bit crooked - I need to go back and fix that but our library is only opened 3 part time days a week and I can't get over there very often.)




08 June 2010

Arrrgh!! Jury Duty!

I hate jury duty and I swear, I get pulled for duty more than anyone I know. Why can't I have that kind of luck when I buy a raffle ticket for a prize I REALLY want to win?!
As I opened the envelope, I was all prepared to refuse duty because I have served within the past two years. Well, lo and beeehold, it is Federal Court and not our local county court. Dang it!
This is one heck of a way to start the summer....glued to home so I can line up for jury duty for who knows what crime. 'guess I'm about to find out.
I'll be spending Summer Solstice in the Federal Courthouse. Hey, that is a sacred day to me; I observe Summer and Winter Solstice. Do you think they'll let me off the hook now?

06 June 2010

Late Bloomers

I walked to the mailbox yesterday with my camera and found these wildflowers blooming like crazy. They are blooming 6-8 weeks later than usual this year due to our cold, damp weather.

Wild iris
Sticky geranium
Buttercups? At least, this is what I've always called them.Lupine

Blue Ceanothus (which is really purple) aka: wild lilac

White Ceanothus aka: wild lilac (blurry photo...sorry)

Indian Paintbrush

Heartleaf Arnica

I don't know what these are.
My favorite is already blossomed and the fruit is nearly ripe: the wild strawberry. This tiny berry packs more flavor than a 2" California strawberry. MMmmmmm.

04 June 2010

Toadstools?

At ease, disease, there's a fungus among us!
Honestly, these fungii are as large as my foot!
And so attractive, I had to take a few photos to share.

I tried to insert a little video of our woods here but the file must be too large because it never loaded. I'll try again today with my flipvideo.

03 June 2010

Mixed Emotions

He better wipe that grin off his face...he just took over my primary job as bread maker. (Notice I did not say bread "winner"!)

Yup, that is homemade pizza dough. Jack found the recipe on-line.

He really oiled the dough up! ;o)

It is even pretty on leftover night!
So I have mixed feelings - I'm delighted that Jack finds joy in cooking and now baking but I'm a bit sad that I'm not the only one who can bake bread or pizza dough in our household. (Does this mean I have to learn how to operate all his wood making tools? I certainly hope not!)
.. and actually, I'm glad that he has things to do while I'm away at work. Baking doesn't hurt his back until it has to go into the oven...then he lets me do the honors!