31 December 2011

Raccoons: 1 Cat: 0

We got home from out trip to find the cat food dish all bloody. My friend had been checking on Hook daily because she could tell the raccoons were getting in the garage through the cat door and eating his food and dirtying his water!
Well, they got more than food. He had a nasty bite on his foot and on his cheek. It took six stitches to patch him up.
Niow I am thinking up ways I can help Hook even out the score.

29 December 2011

The Mystery Doll

I went through the last of our boxes in the loft of our barn. I don't even care to tell you how long those boxes were gathering dust and bat guana! One box was filled with childhood dolls. Some of them were mine and some of them were Kari's. This one was in with all my storybook dolls. He looks like that type of doll. His arms and legs do not move but his eyes open and close. This looks like a British policeman. If it came from my old dolls, it would be about 55 years old. If he is Kari's, he is about 20 years old. Of course, all of them went to Kari because I'm busy purging!

Any clues would be fun to gather and hear???

28 December 2011

To Heck With the Candy Store

'just give this little girl Santa!
When she pushed a button on the table, Santa came alive. She made sure he never stopped for long. Santa absolutely mesmerized her.
Very precious.

26 December 2011

Hang Town

Placerville, CA... where the public restrooms were once a jail... or perhaps still are? Luckily for me, I didn't need to venture in!

The shops were small and each one had its own flavor. The day before Christmas, things were hopping. We couldn't even squeeze into some of the shops.

Main Street is small.

And important.

Standing outside of the hotel gave us free WiFi.... what fun.

Decorations sparkled indoors as the sunshine streamed in.

I want a screen door like this one!

And lastly, I looked up across the street and gasped as I saw this guy swinging. Of course it's a dummy, but the real dummy is ALWAYS me because I jump and scream so easily! (No, I did NOT read the fine print to find out the history of Hang Town and the tree.... I think I could figure that one out on my own!)

It was a fun afternoon to say the least.

24 December 2011

Warm Memories

This wheelbarrow was made by my dad. Dad died 34 years ago now. Wow, it doesn't seem possible. 

So this old wheelbarrow was out in Mom's barn when she moved a few years back. No one wanted it and we had just enough room in the back of our truck for it. Eventually, it made its way to D and J's backyard; knowing it would be a good home for it. Joseph painted it and set it in their garden.  
I understand the chickens all climbed up and explored every inch of it the minute it landed in the garden. They are so darn much fun to watch.
So nothing gone to waste. Wheelbarrow recycled. Warm memories pouring forth and warm memories being made.

21 December 2011

Cancer Sucks. Period.

Cancer does not effect only the person who has the horrible disease, but the family and loved ones surrounding him/her. I hate it. Who doesn't?

I hate the energy it sucks from everyone.
I hate the time it takes for all the tests, the bloodwork, then the "treatments." Time away from family, from work, from daily activities. Precious time.

And most of all, I hate the crap-shoot that the patient must play throughout the whole ordeal.
It is a crapsoot. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I'd rather play the lottery and I'm not a gambling person.

A friend of Joseph and Danette who has gone through the crap-shoot herself, sent Joseph a hat to keep his bald head warm. The words say it all.

F*#*! Cancer!

17 December 2011

Some Pretty Photos

I thought I'd post some cool photos before we head out for CA. Enjoy.

 This is the bald-faced hornets' nest which fell during some high winds. The shell is like paper and feels strong enough to write on.

The Elk Have Arrived

Once again, the elk are out. I could see the cars stopping on the main road so I knew they were out. I took my camera with me as I walked to the mailbox. They weren't close, but they sure were beautiful as ever. There were deer, elk and wild turkeys all in the same field. How lucky am I to be able to see that.

This is how far away there were from me.
 This is how close I got with my zoom lens!

15 December 2011

Another Quilt Finished

Although I didn't make the quilt top, I did put this together and quilt it on my Bernina Aurora 440. The top was purchased by my son-in-law in Guatemala. It is all crewel work on muslin. I had problems with two sides as the embroidery work made the sides of the quilt pucker. So I had these mini ocean waves around the sides to try and work in. I just treated them like a sleeve in a child's dress! I used muslin on the back and binding so as not to detract from the lovely work.
I am going to give the quilt back as a gift to my s-i-l as he has no clue it is in my possession. He has had other more important issues to deal with.... like cancer... bless his sweet heart.
I hope when he curls up under this, he will feel the love sewn in between all those lovely bright colors.

05 December 2011

Brrrr... Someone Froze our Sunlight!

Seriously, we have not seen the sunshine since we left California! It has been freezing and foggy every day. We are burning through our wood, (pun intended!)

Walking through the woods is very eery. The fog has just enough moisure in it to wet things down then the frost comes. All the spiderwebs are showing up in the darndest places! There was one hanging from a 70' tall pine tree and it angled down to earth. With the frost, it looked like a kite string. We drove through it yesterday and it took quite a bit to break it. It made me wonder just how many spiders or spiderwebs we must breathe in on a daily basis without having any clue to their existence! (Here I thought I was a vegetarian....but after seeing their crisscross of webs where I walk, I'll lay odds I've eaten spiders!)

....Which reminds me of a camping trip years ago. I had a cast iron Dutch Oven outside the tent. One evening, I filled it with water and boiled up some pasta. I had it all made and was stirring the cheese into the "gourmet" meal when I discovered SEVERAL earwigs! OMG! They were impossible to retrieve. I just kept stirring and served it up. I figured if my family didn't know, I wasn't going to tell them. Besides, I'm sure it added a bit of protein to the meal.

This is our railing on our deck. I had no clue it was full of spiderwebs. One cannot see them in the sunshine. But the are certainly EVERY WHERE. (Trust me.)

04 December 2011

A Sweet and Timely Gift

One of my birthday surprises was a package from Amy filled with these amazing note cards. I swear, I had circled note cards in my Current catalog the very day these arrived. Perfect timing and oh so much better than store bought cards. Thanks, Amy for thinking about me and sharing your talents with me. Hugs!!

01 December 2011

My Kind of Grapes!

We arrived in CA and our grandkids were in the backyard. I kept hearing their voices but couldn't see the kids. Then I spotted them ABOVE me! Oh my, it was a "Kodak Moment"!!!

 Yup, they were hanging in the grape arbor!

 Check out the mustache... and to think, he is only 5 years old!

Even Zipper was hanging out for a photo-op!

21 November 2011

On Leave

We are taking a leave to go to CA to be with Danette, Joseph, Kai and Zoe. Joseph is undergoing chemo as his lymphoma has returned with a vengeance. He has to have one round in his spine then a few days later, more chemo in the rest of his body. Needless to say, he is very sick during this process. Just as he starts feeling stronger, it's time to do it again. Such is the cycle of chemo.
We will go to keep the kids busy and to help wherever possible. It isn't much but it's what Danette needs right now.

Since it's Thanksgiving.... I thought I'd express a few things that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my husband, Jack, who continually amazes me with his talents and skills as an overall builder, cabinetmaker, plumber, electrician, lumberjack, bricklayer, etc.... the list goes on and on. One only has to look around our home and property to see the beauty he has created with his hands. He amazes me too in how he puts up with me!
I am thankful for my daughters. All moms should be blessed with such awesome children.
I am thankful for my family and extended family. The in-laws and the out-laws. I know in my heart that if ever I needed help, all I would have to do is pick up the phone and dial any one of them.
I am thankful for my friends. The older I get, the fewer I have. Those still remaining are like precious gems to me. Again, I know each of them would come running if ever I needed anything.
I'm thankful for living in America. I get frustrated up to my eyeballs with our government but all in all, I feel quite lucky to be living here.
I'll focus on all of you and your goodness this Thanksgiving and shout out an extra Thank You!

I love this photo so much I thought it would be a good one to share. The shadows and golden tone from the early morning sunshine had me rather entranced. If the sun didn't move so quickly, I may have sat there for hours just enjoying the patterns.

20 November 2011

It's Snowing!

(Well..... for ½ an hour anyway.) This is our second "snow" this year. The first was just a dusting two weeks ago and then yesterday. It hung in the trees and stuck to the ground but the sunshine popped out and melted it all away.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy when the snow does NOT stick. I just enjoy how lovely it looks from the warmth of my home. I do not enjoy the need to dress like the Michelin Man to go outdoors and slush around in it.

2 weeks ago at the library.

The view from my favorite window in the attic closet.

19 November 2011

A Market Bag Spin-off

Okay, now that my BFF Eileen knows the secret about a student's new book bag, I can post this.
This precious 8th grade girl has begged and begged me to make her a dress. She even drew up a design. Well, I didn't want to make her a dress and have her all disappointed so I offered to make her a book bag. She agreed. Then she told me what she wanted on it and what colors and how long the straps had to be, etc. ... and it had to be able to carry her binder and all of her books! Whew! Tall order.
I made the bag and took it to the school office. I had typed up a "contract" with terms for her to sign. She had to agree before seeing the bag or knowing exactly what it was that she would not tell anyone at school where she got the bag or who made it. If she agreed to those terms, she could have the gift.
She signed and got the bag.
She loves it!
Peace Out!!

16 November 2011

Library Busy-ness

Before going to visit Mom, I was up to my eyeballs with the library's annual book sale. Since I'm the president of the Friends of the Library, I needed to be involved every step of the way. I remember last year several of us said we really needed to have two annual sales so we didn't have so many books. Yup, we were saying it again this year. So I'll find a time when the weather is nice and we can throw some tables outside and have another sale. We have to haul them from a storage shed outside the library anyway, so it won't be much further to the parking lot!

Oh, we raised $700. Not bad for a cold, wet, blustery weekend sale.
I have to say it was due to the fantastic volunteers in our little community. They are amazing!

15 November 2011

Sisters and Twins, but not Twin Sisters

I've returned home from a quick visit to Mom's. I even got to see my aunt, my sister, my "twin" brother and his wife, two nieces a grandniece and a grandnephew... all without leaving Mom's! The others were up to their eyeballs with rocks at a rock show!


Oh, you never knew I had a twin brother? Well, check it out..... we are both 65 years old. Is that cool or what? I cannot imagine it, but Mom says it was no problem having us so close together. (Notice she waited 4 years before having another child!)

Actually, we celebrate 13 days every year that we are the same age, then he takes the lead, as usual!
As different as we all are, there is something special about having family around. We might disagree on many subjects but the importance of the love of family is one thing we all agree upon.
Another special thing for me is that my sister-in-laws are like sisters and my brother-in-law is like a fourth brother. It is as if we were all raised together.... strange, but they do fit so well into the quirkiness of the family.

So turning 65 wasn't as painful as I imagined. Being surrounded by family must have been the magic pill I was meant to swallow.
Now..... I'm working towards 66!!

09 November 2011


11.11.11 will be my 65th birthday. I think that makes me an OFFICIAL SENIOR CITIZEN.

Yup, 65 years ago, this beautiful woman, (the one on the left...my sweet niece is on the right), gave birth to me two full months premature on 11.11.1946. The story goes that I was allergic to Mom's milk so I had a black wet nurse. Dad used to tell me that I got my curls from her milk! Then he'd say I got my curls from eating burned food. It came down to the fact that I got my curls from Dad.

65 years. Wow! I honestly thought I would die before my 30th birthday. I seriously believed it. I even had the way I would die all figured out... aka... murder! Oh my! And that was before CSI and all the gore on t.v these days.

So I was wrong. Here I am 65 and Mom is 88. Other than pneumonia right now, she is healthy.
You want to know something? I get to celebrate my 65th birthday with Mom!
I'm hitching a ride with a friend to Washington and will walk, giggle, put puzzles together and love being with Mom.
I don't care if the sun doesn't shine, we shall have three glorious days together.

06 November 2011

Bald Faced Hornets' Nest

One thing about the caterpillars eating all the leaves from the trees: we can see the hornets' nests!

05 November 2011

Living Stump

A living stump is created when a live tree is cut and its stump remains in the ground. The stump and root system may remain alive for several years if its roots graft to nearby living trees.[1] A living stump capable of producing sprouts or cuttings is known as a stool, and is used in the coppicing method of woodland management. (Source: Wikipedia)

For 30 years I have known about living stumps. What I didn't know was that they are common. The only one I was aware of is at the Rogue River Gorge. One day, I was walking back from the mail box when I looked over in our woods and saw a living stump. I was so jazzed. Why hadn't I seen it before? I'm always looking for photo ops. Then I saw another one and another one! These photos are of the first one I discovered.

04 November 2011

Beware of Gifts...They Might Bite You in the Butt

Sure enough, I gave Jack an iTouch for his birthday so he would have more room for all his music. He can also talk to one daughter who has a smart phone via Face Time. So the two of them talk "shop" all the time and I am clueless. I like being clueless sometimes.

But after this morning, I now know I need to do some research and find out just what this iTouch can do. I found out one thing.... it is a recording device.

Jack called me in the living room. He had his iTouch plugged into our stereo system. I thought I was going to have to stand there and listen to yet another singer he has "discovered"! But what came out of those speakers was not music..... it was me snoring. In Dolby Surround Sound nearly full blast!

Oh great. What was I thinking when I gave him this gift? Oh yeah, I was thinking I'd get his old iPod and I could download French lessons and listen to French all day.

I have to admit, it was funny. He got just about every one of my various snores. I didn't know I had different ones, but I most certainly do. So we stood in the living room and had a glorious comic relief moment at my expense. I just hope he doesn't learn how to post to YouTube or I'm in big trouble!

31 October 2011

FOUND in Road

I was walking home after putting some mail out this morning and came upon this Western Pond Turtle in the middle of the road. I don't know where she was headed, but it was a dangerous place to stop for a rest. I picked her up and carried her home with me so I could snap some photos. I have never been this close to one before because they are so timid when we go down to our pond.
They are endangered because of shrinking habitat and increasing predators, etc.
Pretty cool.

29 October 2011

Hobbit Land

We are having a new firebreak put into our underworld brush below the house. I love walking through this scrub area as it reminds me of the stories about the hobits. I think they might just have lived here at one time.

I know the fox, coyote, quail, doves and rabbits sure like this area. I hope we don't disturb them too much.